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Carrying Out Final Wishes

When the administrator cannot serve in that capacity

There are cases where it is appropriate that the Public Guardian and Trustee administers estates when the circumstances do not permit the beneficiary, intestate successor, executor or other eligible person to serve in that capacity. When that occurs, the PGT can agree to an appointment as executor.

However, when these situations arise, it's important to understand that the PGT doesn't resolve estate administration disputes between private parties or dispense advice on the administration of estates.

The PCT can step up either during testate or intestate estate administrations as the situation warrants. When there is a will, the instructions are followed as set forth in the will. When no will can be located, an assessment will be made to indicate whether the PGT services will be necessary, as the estate must be large enough to pay fees associated with the administration, as well as costs of the funeral.

Typically, there are multiple steps that must be taken when the PGT administers an estate. They include:

-- Handling the funeral details

-- Receiving authority to proceed from the court

-- Identification, preservation and management of assets

-- Paying bills and filing tax returns

-- The identification, location and distribution of what remains of the estate to those beneficiaries and successors of the deceased

The goal of the PGT is to offer equitable and professional services while administrating the estate. As such, all estates must be managed strictly according to procedures and policies regarding the management and disposal of assets.

Additionally, these are not free services and will be billed against the estate prior to the final dispersal of assets.

If you find yourself named as administrator of an estate and do not feel competent to handle the matter, this is one possible solution to your dilemma. An estate lawyer can provide information regarding the substitution procedure.

Source: Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia, "Estate Administration," accessed Feb. 19, 2016

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